Vietnam Airlines received official permission from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on November 16 to operate non-stop commercial flights.
Vietnam Airlines, the national air carrier of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, will carry out the first-ever scheduled direct flight to the United States on November 28. This was reported on Wednesday by the Vietnamese News Agency (VNA).
According to VNA, Vietnam Airlines received official permission from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on November 16 to operate non-stop commercial flights between Vietnam and the USA, thus becoming the first and so far the only Vietnamese airline that is allowed to operate regular direct flights to the United States.
The flight will connect the South Vietnamese metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco. The flights will be operated on a wide-body Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner; the duration of the flight will be 13 hours 50 minutes from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco and 16 hours 40 minutes from San Francisco to Ho Chi Minh City.
At the initial stage, Vietnam Airlines intends to operate two flights a week between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco. In the future, their number is expected to be increased to seven per week.
Preparations for the start of direct flights between Vietnam and the United States have lasted exactly two decades since the opening of the Vietnam Airlines representative office in the United States. The appearance of the first direct air flight in the history of relations between Vietnam and the United States, which will connect the two states, will be of great public and political importance, the airline is confident.
According to experts, the entry into the American air transportation market will involve quite tough competition for the Vietnamese airline, as a result of which, in the first year of the existence of a regular direct flight between Vietnam and the United States, Vietnam Airlines may incur significant losses. The losses will be compensated in the next three to four years, only after that the Vietnamese airline will be able to make a profit, experts believe.